Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPolitics
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Pete Lentini


Popular disillusion with conventional politics (political parties, expensive election campaigns, etc.) and new forms of conflict, including terrorism and religiously inspired violence, have become more prominent in Western democracies. The unit addresses new ways citizens are attempting to overcome this 'disenchantment' and participate in politics and society, and the (sometimes violent) consequences of such activities. It examines conflicts between marginal religious and political groups and society; states' conflict resolution techniques and their consequences; participation in self empowerment movements and alternative religions; and the significance of the politics of conspiracy.


Upon completing this subject students should:

  1. Develop new understandings of how individuals are attempting to 're-enchant' politics by constructing what they consider to be new, exciting and meaningful ways to engage in political and social life which they feel can be more empowering than voting and party, trade union, and other forms of civic and political membership;
  2. Develop new understandings of how individuals are attempting to re-create themselves as political beings and their political horizons;
  3. Develop an intermediate level of understanding of various forms of political, social and religious thought and activism;
  4. Develop and intermediate level of understanding of various forms of identity-based (especially religiously inspired) violence, the measures that selected states and social groups have employed to counteract or pre-empt the real or potential violence that these groups perpetrate, and how they attempt to regulate such groups' activities, and the consequences of these actions.
  5. Develop skills to read various forms of text critically (audio-visual materials, scholarly literature, official documents, internet sources) and incorporate them in their assessed work.
  6. Continue to develop critical skills and their abilities to develop a topic for investigation;
  7. Continue to develop critical skills and their abilities to familiarise themselves with a wide range of sources;
  8. Continue to develop critical skills and their abilities to recognise and be able to present a logically ordered argument.
  9. Develop a level of competency in understanding new and alternative trends in political participation and activity that will enable them to apply the theoretical and empirical studies examined in the unit to a contemporary or scenario-based exercise.

Additional objective for students taking the unit at third year level. To develop skills necessary to conduct research into an original topic and prepare them for eventual honours or postgraduate coursework research techniques. In particular to:

  1. Propose and construct research questions;
  2. Conduct and present literature reviews;
  3. Identify gaps in established scholarly literature.


Short essay (500 words): 10%
Essay (2500 words): 50%
2 Hour examination (approx 2,000 words): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 2-hour lecture/seminar per week.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study